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F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

1787 words - 8 pages

The “Roaring Twenties” were surrounded by the disillusionment of an economically sound America, which was sure to fall. American culture in the 1920s was centered on lost hope and unreachable dreams as shown by the lost generation and countless others struggling to become rich by both illegal and legal means. Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby depicts the time accurately with his characters and even more in depth with an iconic quote about Gatsby reaching out to the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. All of the following real events are shown throughout the novel such as the war, prohibition and the new women’s movement. Without including these events and theme, Fitzgerald couldn’t have written a great American novel that connected with the historical 1920s.
The Great War involved all of the world’s superpowers and it pinned two factions against each other. American wouldn’t have gotten involved but the “Germans undertook overt acts against American lives” (Kennedy 696). The Allies side was composed of France, Russia and the United Kingdom at the start of the war. The opposing faction was called The Central powers, which included Germany and Austria- Hungary. As the war continued to grow, more countries joined in on the fight and America eventually joined the allies after Germany announced its decision to use unrestricted submarine warfare. The leader of the German regime, Hitler, had many lucrative goals he wished to achieve like the establishment of the Arian race. The war ended in 1918 and previous superpowers were now lost and struggling in poverty because of the large amount of spending. Germany, Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and Austria-Hungary all lost their superpower status as a dominant nation in the world economy. Millions of soldiers from all sides were killed during the fighting. The soldiers that did come home back to America were known as the lost generation because of their rejection of the new culture they found when they got back. They rejected the new consumerism and materialistic views of the 1920s. Returning to America they were essentially lost and had no clear path on what to do next. Their life had been filled with war and with its sudden disappearance assimilation into life was hard. Both Jay Gatsby and Nick Caraway in the novel fought in the war and this may be a possible reason for their disillusionment.
The 18th Amendment to the United States constitution made it illegal in America to produce and sell Alcoholic beverages. Smuggling and secrecy was left to be the only option to consume alcohol in the US to fuel the speakeasies around the country. Speakeasies were like underground taverns, which served alcohol to its patrons. Movements before the 18th amendment attempted to do the same as it but did not succeed in limiting alcohol consumption like the women’s temperance movement (Behr 35). Really consumption of alcohol in America wasn’t even limited for the most part. Bootleggers made alcohol so easily available in the...

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